With market expected to double, Brodeur spins off health tech arm

BOSTON: Hoping to take advantage of the opportunities afforded by the increasing convergence of healthcare and technology, Brodeur Porter Novelli has formed a health technology practice - and others in the hi-tech sector, including Cunningham Communications, may soon follow its lead.

BOSTON: Hoping to take advantage of the opportunities afforded by the increasing convergence of healthcare and technology, Brodeur Porter Novelli has formed a health technology practice - and others in the hi-tech sector, including Cunningham Communications, may soon follow its lead.

BOSTON: Hoping to take advantage of the opportunities afforded by

the increasing convergence of healthcare and technology, Brodeur Porter

Novelli has formed a health technology practice - and others in the

hi-tech sector, including Cunningham Communications, may soon follow its

lead.



The new group will target sectors such as health information technology,

e-commerce and medical devices.



’A lot of hi-tech agencies dabble in healthcare but without a broad

range of expertise in the healthcare market, they lack something,’ said

John Smith, the VP leading the new practice. ’We’ve been doing

healthcare and technology for years, and know the players on both sides

of the table.’



Smith said the health information technology market is expected to grow

40 to 50% within the next year and is increasingly embracing PR. The

trend of combining healthcare and technology has not gone unnoticed by

Brodeur’s competitors in the hi-tech area, but it may be months before

most are in a position to form similar practice groups.



’We’ve given some thought to it,’ said Cunningham CEO Andy

Cunningham.



’It’s a great area to get into, but it requires expertise that we don’t

have.’ She said that the agency may consider acquiring a healthcare

boutique or hiring individuals with healthcare expertise, but added

these moves are not likely to occur within the next two years.



Brodeur, for its part, isn’t about to abandon its hi-tech roots for the

booming healthcare market.



’We’re sensitive to our roots in technology,’ said Andrea Carney,

president of Brodeur Porter Novelli. ’We’re not trying to be something

we’re not.



This is our niche.’



The agency’s Boston office has devoted 10 employees to the health

technology practice, which is in the process of being built nationwide.

Out of the agency’s current clients, 17 will be brought under the

umbrella of the new practice.



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